Community Nutrition Project (Jiri, Dolakha District)



In 2015, Nepal was struck by a dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake and after­shocks that claimed the lives of nearly 9,000 Nepalis. In the imme­di­ate after­math, NPCS was engaged in pro­vid­ing emer­gency food parcels to almost 1800 fam­i­lies in the dis­tricts of Lal­it­pur and Dolakha.

Fol­low­ing the earth­quake relief work, NPCS was asked by com­mu­nity leaders to run a longer-term project in Jiri, a munic­i­pal­ity in Dolakha Dis­trict. NPCS worked closely with local gov­ern­ment and com­mu­ni­ties asso­ci­ated with four rural town­ships to improve the nutri­tion of women and chil­dren using locally avail­able foods. 

The project was funded by the Global Health Unit of Global Min­istries, USA and Misean Cara, Ireland.


Project activ­i­ties

Despite the chal­lenges of con­duct­ing a com­mu­nity project during the COVID pan­demic, over the three years of this project we deliv­ered train­ing about good nutri­tion and veg­etable gardens to 190 female health vol­un­teers, 318 mothers, 100 grand­moth­er­s/­moth­ers-in-law, 74 shop­keep­ers, 35 teach­ers and 123 adolescents.

More than 350 mothers attended recipe demon­stra­tions and almost 500 under‑5 chil­dren had their growth checked reg­u­larly. Hun­dreds of women attended com­mu­nity nutri­tion events and cel­e­bra­tion days. 

An eval­u­a­tion in 2021 showed that since the project started:

  • The number of under‑5 chil­dren suf­fer­ing from chronic mal­nu­tri­tion (stunt­ing) dropped by 5%
  • Breast­feed­ing of infants improved, and mothers were using more nutri­tious baby foods
  • Chil­dren receiv­ing an ade­quate variety of foods in their diet increased from 5% to 42%
  • 92% of mothers were keeping a kitchen garden to increase their fam­i­ly’s veg­etable consumption
  • Fam­i­lies increas­ingly washed their hands with soap
  • Groups of women who were sup­ported to produce and sell “super­flour” (a nutri­tious baby food) had a growing market for their product in their local communities

As NPCS pre­pared to finish activ­i­ties, local gov­ern­ment author­i­ties hired two of the project staff to con­tinue the nutri­tion work in the community.